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Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso's second SOS Children's Village at Bobo-Dioulasso, near the western border with Mali was opened in 2004. It has twelve family houses for 120 children, a three-room nursery school for 150 children, a combined primary and secondary school for 900 children and a clinic for both the local people and the SOS families. … more about our charity work in Burkina Faso

SOS Children in Burkina Faso unaffected by political unrest

SOS Children in Burkina Faso unaffected by political unrest

Burkina Faso, a poor landlocked country in West Africa, has been severely affected by ongoing unrest both by the country’s population and in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire. We have received the good news that all of our programmes in Burkina Faso are safe and unaffected by the violence.

Since mid-March, the capital Ouagadougou and neighbouring towns in Burkina Faso have experienced a period of intense unrest fuelled by student discontent, frustration with the cost of living and disputes between the military and the civilian authorities. During a series of violent protests on 14 and 15 April by soldiers over pay, both public and private property were looted and shots fired into the air in Ouagadougou and in Bobo-Dioulasso, the country's second-largest city. The violence provoked the anger of the general public and they took to the streets on 16 April, staging a counter protest against rising food prices and the past week’s looting. Nyantudré Ousséni, director of SOS Children in Burkina Faso describes the situation during the protests. “The noises of fires rocketing into the night were heard around the village in Ouagadougou on 14 April, everybody stayed in the houses. Buildings and shops were ransacked. All the children were safe. This violence is unprecedented in Burkina Faso.””

On 19 April, Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore appointed the ambassador to France as the new Prime Minister to restore stability in the country.

The tense political in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire has also had an impact on daily life in the country. Three million people from Burkina Faso work in Côte d'Ivoire and many of these are returning to Burkina Faso in the wake of the violence, alongside refugees fleeing the country. Up to 50,000 people are expected to enter Burkina Faso and Mali in the near future. The continuing unrest in Côte d'Ivoire has had an impact on the food market and the livelihoods of people, including the provision of electricity and the available routes for the exportation of goods produced in Burkina Faso. Subsequent high food prices and electricity cuts are affecting everyone, including children and families in the SOS Villages.

SOS Children has been working in Burkina Faso since 1995. Through our two Villages in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, our schools, social centre and medical care, we are supporting over 2,000 children and their families.